Tuesday, November 20
A Season for Thankfulness
I was going to post this last week as part of Mama Kat's Pretty Much World Famous Writing Workshop because one of the writing prompts was "A Blessing in Disguise." It didn't happen. Frankly, I was still wrapping my brain around the previous weekend's events.
How about we start at the very beginning; it's a very good place to start (according to Fraulein Maria). I have healthy kids. We don't visit the doctor often, none of them are on regular medications, in fact, rarely has even an antibiotic been prescribed to them. I say this knowing how truly blessed I am for this. All of them are active and regularly participate in school sponsored and recreational sports. So a few weeks ago when I saw in the announcements that our school district was offering free athletic heart screenings, I thought about what a great idea that was and promptly put it out of my mind. The day before the screenings, my youngest son TJ reminded me that they were going on and said I needed to call the school nurse and schedule with her if I wanted him to be screened. Since we weren't overly busy that Saturday, I decided to go ahead and have it done. The screening consisted of an EKG and an echocardiogram. I was prepared for a quick in-and-out and a "you're all good." What I got instead was a cardiologist telling me, "TJ has a condition called Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome and it can be hereditary so we need EKG's on your other children and yourself and your spouse. Without much time to let that sink in, I took TJ home and roused Ali from bed to get her over for her EKG. Within 15 minutes we had more shocking news that Ali also had an arrhythmia, but hers was different and they suspected Long QT Syndrome. Both conditions can cause fast, chaotic heart beats, fainting spells, and even sudden cardiac arrest. Needless to say, both of them were told not to have any aerobic activity that could raise their heart rates until further testing and treatment. As it stands now, TJ is scheduled for a catheter ablation to correct his condition and Ali has had a treadmill test and the cardiologist is still studying her records. We aren't on the other side of this yet, but I know the blessing is there in the fact that we didn't find these conditions in an emergency room after a cardiac event or an even worse scenario. You can bet I'll be saying more about this, but in the meantime, do some homework. And please, if you have athletic heart screenings in your area, take advantage of it.